Blog Archives

Congress Returns with Much Left Undone

Congress returns to work this week for one more stretch before the November elections. This will be the final work period before the current fiscal year (FY 2016) expires on September 30. That means some type of action is needed in the coming weeks to keep the federal government funded and operating come October 1. See COSSA’s analysis of the state of play of FY 2017 Appropriations bills for full details.

In addition to action on the annual spending bills (which will undoubtedly result in a continuing resolution punting final action to after the election), Congress will be looking to enact funding for the Zika crisis and a handful of other pressing issues over the next few weeks; these efforts will consume every available minute between now and the next recess. That means the 114th Congress is likely to adjourn at the end of the year with several bills impacting the social and behavioral sciences left on the table. This includes a number of authorization bills of consequence to the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Institute of Education Sciences. COSSA summarizes the State of Play of Authorization Bills in an analysis released last month.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

COSSA Releases Second Issue of “Setting the Record Straight on ‘Wasteful Research’”

COSSA has released the second issue of Setting the Record Straight on “Wasteful Research” (PDF available here). This series features interviews with researchers whose work has been called out in Congressional wastebooks or other attacks. We are hoping to give these scientists the chance to set the record straight about the value and potential of their work– and confront misconceptions about social science research funded by the federal government. This edition features Lisa Neff (University of Texas, Austin), whose National Science Foundation-funded study on relationships among older adults was ridiculed in James Lankford’s “Federal Fumbles” wastebook.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Congressional Briefing on Violence Prevention

The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and WestEd’s Justice and Prevention Research Center are hosting a Congressional Briefing on Tuesday, September 27 on violence and violence prevention. Topics covered will include strategies for violence prevention, patterns of violence, as well as the influences and costs of violence. Nancy Rodriguez, the Director of the National Institute of Justice, will introduce a diverse panel of experts from the public, academic, and non-profit sectors, including COSSA board member and Director of the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center Nancy La Vigne. Register to attend the briefing here.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NSF Seeks Input into Next Strategic Plan

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is in the beginning stages of updating its strategic plan, which it does every four years. Its current strategic plan, Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the

Nation’s Future, was released in 2014 and runs through 2018. As an initial step, NSF is soliciting comment on the “Vision, Core Values, Strategic Goals, and Strategic Objectives” included in the current plan (2014-2018). Public input can be provided on the NSF website by September 27.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIH Center for Scientific Review Seeks Director for Division of AIDS, Behavioral, and Population Sciences

The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is seeking a Director for its Division of AIDS, Behavioral, and Population Sciences (DABP). The Director of DABP is a member of CSR’s senior management, advises the Director of CSR and other NIH officials on scientific issues relevant to the Division and its mission, and represents CSR within and outside of NIH. DABP’s director will “provide scientific leadership for the Division, which handles reviews covering the broad fields of AIDS and AIDS related research, biobehavioral and behavioral processes, epidemiology and population sciences, healthcare delivery and methodologies, and risk, prevention and health behavior.” Additionally, the DABP Director plays “a key role in developing plans and providing direction as the peer review process evolves and NIH works to maintain and enhance it.” Additional responsibilities include: participating in strategic planning activities for achieving CSR’s scientific and management goals; assisting in establishing policy, principles and practices related to referral and review; and directing implementation of program and management changes. For more information see NIH’s website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Diana Bianchi Named director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

On August 25, NatioBianchinal Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins announced the selection of Diana Bianchi as director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). She is expected to begin her NIH tenure on October 31, 2016. Bianchi joins the NIH from the Floating Hospital for Children and Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and is the fou
nding director of the Mother Infant Research Institute and vice chair for pediatric research. A medical geneticist with special expertise in reproductive genetics, Bianchi’s research focuses on prenatal genomics. Read more about Bianchi and NICHD here.

Collins also recognized Catherine Spong who served as the NICHD’s acting director for the past year.

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NIH Seeks Input on Metrics to Assess Value of Biomedical Digital Repositories

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is soliciting the input of the scientific community regarding “metrics to assess the value and impact of biomedical digital data repositories that may provide a basis for technical and science policy actions required to support” repositories’ long-term sustainability. NIH notes that its goal for data management and sharing “is to make publicly-funded data broadly accessible to support reuse, reproducibility and discovery while simultaneously balancing the costs and the benefits.” Accordingly, the agency has issued a request for information (RFI), (NOT-OD-16-133), seeking information on qualitative and quantitative metrics that describe utilization at multiple levels; quality and impact indicators,; quality of service; governance and infrastructure; qualitative metrics; and the use of case studies demonstrating the value of the repository. For more information and/or to respond, see the Notice. The agency further announced that it expects to release an additional RFI on “NIH Data Sharing Strategies” in the near future.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIOSH Requests Input on Motor Vehicle Safety Research Priorities

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking for input from the scientific community on the direction of its motor vehicle safety research efforts (see its Center for Motor Vehicle Safety strategic plan). Specifically, the Institute is seeking feedback on its research priorities, communications and outreach efforts, and how its products are used by stakeholders. Comments may be submitted in writing by October 14, 2016 or during a public web meeting on September 14, 2016. More information is available in the Federal Register.

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Candidates Sought for CDC Health Disparities Advisory Subcommittee

The Health Disparities Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACD, CDC) is seeking nominations for new members. The Subcommittee provides expert advice to the CDC Director and Health and Human Services leadership on ways to reduce health disparities, including through research, program and policy analysis, and other CDC activities. Candidates should have expertise in “health policy, public health, global health, preparedness, preventive medicine, the faith-based and community-based sector, and allied fields.” More information is available in the Federal Register notice. Nominations are due by September 30, 2016.

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Webinar on NIJ Fellowships

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will host a webinar on Monday, September 19 at 3:00-4:00pm to provide an overview of research fellowship opportunities with NIJ. NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation division of the Department of Justice and provides fellowship opportunities for both early career researchers and experienced researchers in the social and behavioral sciences and other STEM fields. NIJ’s fellowship programs include the Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship, the Visiting Fellows Program, the New Investigator/Early Career Program, and the Research Assistantship Program. The webinar is free and open to the public. Registration can be found here.

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